Cellphones look set to replace the supermarket checkout when you do your grocery shopping.

With the push of a button you will scan an item with your phone and it will tell you everything you want to know about the product and the company that made it. And, when you walk out the door your money will automatically be taken from your account.

This is the supermarket of the future and, according to “The Supermarket Guru” Phil Lempert, who recently visited New Zealand from the United States, that future is not too far away.

Speaking to the Herald as he walked the aisles of New World Albany last week, Mr Lempert said a growing consumer conscience and mobile phone technology in the US are changing the way people shop.

Mr Lempert, who was in the country to address supermarket suppliers and members of the NZ Food and Grocery Council, said New Zealand shoppers will see the changes within the next few years.

“You’re going to see people shopping up and down the aisles with an iPad. Look up the brand name, it will tell you everything you need to know about that company. It’s going to get rid of the bad ones and promote the good ones.”

Demands around country of origin labelling are huge in the US and New Zealand appears set to follow, but Mr Lempert said that was just the start. Customers are growing increasingly concerned about the ethical issues around food, from ingredients to packaging – and even a company’s carbon footprint.

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